So if you are really just getting started and don’t want to invest a lot right away, you can go with a free WordPress site. The free option can be a bit limiting though as you cannot control all aspects of your site. A free site will also have “wordpress” in your domain name (so xyz.wordpress.com basically). You can pay for your own domain directly with WordPress too, but I’m going to go over the better way to do this below. It’s a good place to start though if you’re starting out with low or no budget, or if you want to just start writing your first batch of content before you officially go live.
I highly recommend starting with the best right away if you can. Self-hosting is the BEST way to control all aspects of your blog. I wish I had known about it from the start, but at least I know the difference between these options now. Self-hosting lets you control EVERYTHING on your site. I use WordPress through Siteground hosting for my own websites. It is very easy to learn and manage, and it is pretty customizable. I actually tried a different hosting company at first and was so frustrated with the customer service so I switched to Siteground.
I’ve had Siteground for about 3 years now and I cannot recommend them enough. Their customer service always goes above and beyond to answer your questions, they are incredibly quick to answer, and they offer so many amazing services to fit your needs. I’m quite tech illiterate myself and I’ve bugged them countless times, and I’ve always heard back within a few minutes (and most of the time they’ve already solved the issue before they even write back!).
Getting set up with Siteground in 3 easy steps
1. Choose your hosting plan
SiteGround has three plans to choose from, starting as low as $3.95 a month! You can see a full list of the extra features available with each plan right here. If you are truly just starting out then the StartUp plan is best. Once your site starts growing you can easily upgrade to one of the other 2 plans.
- The StartUp plan is perfect for people with one website that are just getting started on their blogging journey.
- The GrowBig plan is a great value for money offer, including the option for multiple websites and the SuperCacher that greatly improves a WordPress and Joomla website speed. I personally use this one because I already had about 20K views a month and I have multiple sites.
- The GoGeek plan is perfect for people with e-commerce and larger sites, or more geeky development needs like staging and GIT integration
Step 2. Choosing your Domain Name
By now you should already have an idea of what your niche or theme is going to be for your site, so it’s time to pick your domain name. This can be one of the hardest parts of this whole process for several reasons.
Some key points to keep in mind when choosing a domain name:
- You’ll likely be keeping these domain name forever so make sure it’s a good one.
- It has to be related to your overall theme of your website.
- It has to be an available name.
- Ideally, it should be easy to spell or memorize.
- It should be something that you love or deeply resonate with.
You can sign up for a brand-new domain directly with Siteground if you want too, and they have a place on their site to check if certain domain names are taken or not. If you started out with buying your domain directly with WordPress or any other site, you can actually sign up with Siteground with an existing domain. The website transfer is free with the GrowBig or GoGeek plans too!
Step 3. Review and Complete
The next step is just to confirm your information and pay for your new domain and hosting service. Once that is done, you’ll be able to look through Siteground’s site and learn how to link your existing site or how to start your brand new site. Keep in mind that the price you sign up with will be good for the entire first year, so it saves a LOT of money for a truly great hosting service.
And that’s it! Easy, peasy. And you’re ready to get started with your own personal blog!