I’ve always recommended that newcomers to blogging start with a free WordPress.com blog. Beginners can learn the basics this way and work their way up to self-hosted WordPress. If you’ve decided you’re ready to go self-hosted, the next decision is whether you want to do it yourself (DIY) or hire someone to set it up for you (PAY). So, how do you decide?
Decide to DIY if:
- You’ve been blogging with WordPress for some time and are familiar with how it works. Again, I recommend you get familiar with the free WordPress at WordPress.com before trying to go self-hosted.
- You are good at reading directions and finding help online. WordPress.org has a help section called the Codex where you can find answers to many questions. Also, there are a number of tutorials on YouTube.
- You’re on a tight budget, and you think the domain name and hosting fees are all you can afford.
Choose to PAY if:
- You have not set up or managed a blog or website before. When looking for someone to do your site, ask each candidate if they provide initial tutoring.
- You don’t have a lot of time to devote to the setup process. DIY takes a lot of time. Once your basic setup is done, there are design features, called widgets and plugins, that will need to be configured in addition regular posting.
- Money is no object. Laugh if you want, but, as Ben Franklin once said, “time is money.” If you can afford a professional job, you’ll be “buying time” to write.
Whatever you decide, here are some tips to help you get going. Browse the information below before making your decision.
Info to help you decide:
- Watch Jeff Goins, The Short Guide to Launching a Self-Hosted Blog in 8 Minutes or Less. This is a screencast that shows you how to set up hosting, install WordPress, and choose a theme. It does not tell you everything you need to know, but it is a good start.
- Michael Hyatt’s How to Launch a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog in 20 Minutes or Less. This one is longer, but gives more detail. There’s also an accompanying article that covers most of what’s in the video. You get a discount on Bluehost hosting, $1 per month off regular price, if you click through from Hyatt’s video to buy your hosting.
- Visit Author Media. This company has done WordPress sites for a number of Christian authors. Browse their site, especially their Portfolio page, before you look at the pricing. I’ve followed their blog and listened to one of their free webinars. They seem very knowledgeable and pleasant to deal with.
Disclaimer/Legal Mumbo-Jumbo: I have no connection with Jeff Goins or Michael Hyatt, other that the fact that I subscribe to their blogs. There may be a number of other WordPress site-building services that are perfectly fine. I have not had any personal experience with any of them. Author Media has not done any work for me. I am simply providing a link to their site as an example. I am not receiving any remuneration for recommending any person or service mentioned in this post.
More Sample WordPress Self-hosted Sites: