As you likely have figured out already, this is my first crack at a blog. It was something that I had talked about for quite some time but just didn’t quite jump into the deep end. Finally, after six months of playing with my Vitamix blender and also trying to find ways to ensure my daughter was getting all the vitamins and nutrients she needed I was inspired.
Starting a blog requires a number of things:
- a topic or idea that can sustain your interest
- making a decision on which blogging platform to use
- choosing a host for your site (and a domain name)
Numbers 1-3 all require research and ultimately making a decision that allows you to move forward with your plan. Finding that topic that you can get excited to write about on a regular basis can be the hardest part about getting started.
Once I had that figured out I had to decide which blogging platform to use. My husband, who has been a game-dev blogger since 2011 uses BlogEngine. This is just a bit too technical for most users and it has also provided him infinite frustration along the way. I thought about using it simply so I could have live-in technical support at my beck and call but then figured that would likely lead to marital discord – probably not worth it in the long-run. After lots of online research, I settled on WordPress because really, it just seems to be a user-friendly platform and is essentially the gold standard of blogging platforms. There are so many plug-ins and amazing looking themes to get you started. I’ll share more about these once I’ve had a bit more time using them.
I played around with WordPress on a locally installed copy for a few weeks before taking the plunge and securing a host for my site. I had picked up the domain name much earlier through Hover which is the service my husband uses to manage his domains. Often, you can get a free domain name with a new hosting account.
I also spent quite a bit of time trying to decide on the best host for my needs wanting to balance cost, features and customer service reputation. My husband has a dedicated server for his blog and I had thought I could piggy-back that but he wasn’t willing to install WordPress. After reading many online reviews, I chose Siteground.com.* In the past three years, I have found the service and reliability to be fantastic and the easy install of WordPress had me working away in just minutes after signup. On the rare occasion that I completely mess something up, it is super easy to revert to a backup copy and it literally takes less than a minute to get up and running again.
When using WordPress, you also have to think about what theme you want to use. Not all themes work well depending on your niche and desired look and feel. Genesis is a great framework and I like Restored 316 themes and Studio Press because they both run on the Genesis framework.
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